Reichstags out of 10.
It's a very surreal painting of a bald guy with a metal bird-mask on
by artist Marshall Arisman. It's dark, moody, and really weird. What's
weirder is that Marshall Arisman is an internationally respected painter,
illustrator, and a longtime chairperson at the prestigious School of
Visual Arts in New York. His political cartoons appear regularly in
publications such as Time Magazine, The Nation, and The New York Times.
How one of his paintings wound up on the cover of a Skew Siskin album
is beyond me.
Airlifts out of 10.
It's a 4-pane fold out that has credits and thanks, tracking, glossy
color band photo and all lyrics. Nothing at all to complain about and
while compacted into a small area, it has everything that's expected
in a CD booklet.
Checkpoint Charlies out of 10.
What sets these guys apart from the rest of the pack is they have a
chick singer who sounds like she could be the child of Janis Joplin
and Lemmy from Motörhead. The opening track and first single from
this disc, "If The Walls Could Talk," is a standard rocker
that is slightly ballsier than normal fare but is pretty much a cookie-cutter
hard rock tune. But wait, it does get better. The guitarist is actually
really good and you can tell there's a definite Hendrix influence. Some
of the tunes are actually kind of catchy, and others are longer experiments
in surreality, e.g., "In Another World" at nearly 13 minutes.
Overall, musicianship and production are outstanding. Even a cover of
The Kinks' "All Day & All Of The Night" is done really
Comments: Skew Siskin was
formed in Berlin in the early 90s by vocalist Nina C. Alice and guitarist/producer
Jim Voxx. Knowing that nobody in Germany would give a hoot about them,
they shopped their demos to American record companies and ended up landing
a deal with Giant Records. They toured the USA with Black Sabbath and
the like and got their video shown on Headbangers Ball. But then Nirvana
arrived to change the music scene and Skew Siskin quietly went away.
But don't be sad! They're still around today, playing clubs and Biker
festivals in Germany and Switzerland.